LISBON - The United States has no current plans to send troops to Mali and is still considering how else to help French forces battling al-Qaida-linked fighters there, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday.
The clarification of Washington's position came as France launched fresh air strikes on the fifth day of its military intervention in the West African nation."There is no consideration of putting any American boots on the ground at this time," Panetta told a news conference after meeting his Portuguese counterpart on the first leg of a trip to Europe.
Panetta told reporters on Monday the United States was considering providing France with logistical, reconnaissance and airlift support. He said on Tuesday no final decision had been made on what kind of help to offer France or when.
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